Sunday, May 5, 2013

KICKSTARTER PROJECT: Past Away: Choose How You'll Survive!

In the near future an outbreak of violence and terrorism plagues the overcrowded mega-cities.
It's Halloween.
Jason Brooks normally delivers pizza via remote control drone in Zone 13 of the mega-structure known as "The Palace"
but on a busy night like tonight, he has to jump in the pizza-mobile and deliver it the old fashioned way. Jason's not super thrilled about his budding future as a "pizza pilot", but hey, the chances of him seeing someone from his past are miniscule...
but not impossible.
While reuniting with old friends can be fun, this wasn't quite the reunion Jason had in mind, but you know what they say, it could be worse.
Past Away is an idea that's been floating around in the back of my head for a while now. I wanted to do a motion comic, but not like most of the motion comics I've seen in that I didn't want to take a comic that was made for print, then animate it. I wanted to create a motion comic that was created to be a motion comic. There is no print alternative for Past Away. From concept to creation it was created to be experienced as a motion comic. Also, since all of the mediums capable of displaying a motion comic also have the potential for interactivity, I wanted to use that interactivity for more than just turning the page or moving to the next shot. I thought it would be cool to integrate choices into the story, so that you can become an active participant in the narrative. I wanted to make a truly interactive story.
While I refer to Past Away as a comic, that's mostly because that's the closest thing to liken it to. The art style and the format are actually more like an animated film. There are no panels or word boxes in Past Away. All of the dialogue scrolls across the bottom of the screen similar to subtitles. I'm a HUGE fan of animation and I wanted Past Away to have the feeling of an animated film or television show.
Past Away will also incorporate music and sound effects. My goal is to create a system that allows for more than background music, but allows for an interactive musical score.
The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to create a web version of the Past Away interactive motion comic.
I've been working on the story, design and visual development for Past Away for the last several months now...
and I've gone about as far as I can go on this project without some support. That's where you come in.
While I've enlisted the help of some awesome friends from time to time while working on this project, for the most part I've been working on this alone. The work that's been done so far is mostly art and animation. There is still a good amount of art and animation to be done, but also:
Music and sound effects
Website design
These three things I cannot do alone. My ultimate goal for Past Away is to have it available as a mobile app as well as on the web in the form of a website. This Kickstarter is to get things started off by
A. completing the development of the system the story is delivered on (engineering and website)
B. completing the content for the first episode of Past Away. (art and audio)
With your help I'll be able to continue to work on Past Away full time as well as contracting services for the other aspects of the project.
As thanks for contributing to this project I've put together a lot of really cool rewards, here are a few of them.
My name is Christopher Middleton. Almost a year ago I created the company Scindo Media Inc. mainly to produce this project as well as a few other projects. Before that I worked for a few years prior primarily in social and mobile games as a concept artist and illustrator. I've also worked as a freelance concept artist, illustrator, and motion graphics designer. While all that stuff pays the bills,(and being able to pay bills is awesome!) for me this project represents the pursuit of my passion. This is something I've always wanted to do, and if I had to boil it down to the single most reason I pursued art in the first place, it was to tell visual stories. I've been writing and coming up with stories ever since I learned to read and write twenty something years ago, and this project is the culmination of years of study, a lot of passion and a lot of hard work. If you like art, comics, animation, or just a good story, I think you'll like Past Away, and I hope you'll consider contributing to this project.
While I've been working on Past Away I've documented some of my process in a youtube video series called Past Away Groundworks. To get a glimpse behind the scenes of the project you can check that out here.
Also here's some of the development work from the project.

Risks and challenges

If this project is successfully funded, I will have the resources to continue to work on Past Away full time. Regardless, this is a colossal amount of work, and getting it all done will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I'm up to. What you see in this project is a lot of the work I've put together to show you what Past Away is all about. What you do not see is the countless hours I've dedicated to creating a custom production pipeline to streamline the output of the content for this project. All the pieces are set and with your help I can get the gears in motion to create something great. Thank you so much for checking out Past Away.

To make a pledge, click here!

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